RACE WALKING POSTURE

Looking into the distance, with the shoulders dropped to open your rib cage, the trunk straight, not leaning too far forward, nor too far back: that's the upper body posture for race walking

 

The arms are bent at a 90° angle and make large movements backwards and forwards. This swinging movement stays close to the body and follows the walker's axis. Hands are relaxed.

 

As for the lower body, the knee is blocked when the foot hits the ground. Race walking requires one foot to be in constant contact with the ground. To do this, as one foot pushes off, the other foot hits the ground. The foot rolls from the heel to the toes, creating a dynamic movement which increases propulsion

The pelvis is mobile, causing the hips to sway and giving the legs a flowing forward movement. Increasing frequency is more effective for increasing speed than lengthening the stride.

WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THIS SPECIFIC TECHNIQUE FOR RACE WALKING? 

This special technique is what helps walkers go so fast. High-level race walkers can walk faster than many athletes can run. 

The arms play an important role because they both increase the pace and compensate for imbalances. The complete foot roll and placing the pelvis forward on the attacking leg side are also important elements to work on to increase your speed.

WHY IT'S NECESSARY TO OPTIMISE YOUR TECHNIQUE

It's important to have an effective flowing technique to avoid injuries. Incorrect hip swaying movement can cause tendinitis where the muscles are attached to the pelvis. 

The most frequent pain is in the hamstrings. It's strongly recommended to learn the right techniques from an instructor in a club if you have decided to start race walking. 

Once you've learnt the technique, you can hit the road, then try track races. If you don't have a club nearby, have someone film you, so you can observe your technique and correct your errors.